Founder Of Chennai’s Sankara Nethralaya SS Badrinath Passes Away
Chennai, November 21 (TNA) Eminent opthalmologist and founder of Chennai’s Sankara Nethralaya, SS Badrinath passed away on Tuesday. A statement from the institute read: “Our visionary Founder, a legend and compassionate leader Dr. S.S. Badrinath passed away early this morning. The last rites will be held after 9.30 A.M. today at the Beasant Nagar crematorium. SN is deeply saddened by the demise of our Founder,”
Born on February 24, 1940 in the then Madras, Sengamedu Srinivasa Badrinath had his schooling in the city.
He graduated from the Madras Medical College in 1962, and pursued his graduate studies in ophthalmology in the United States at Grasslands Hospital, New York University Postgraduate Medical School, and Brooklyn Eye and Ear Infirmary until 1968. He worked as a fellow in the vitreoretinal services of Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston, till 1970. On return to India in 1970, he worked for six years at the Voluntary Health Services (VHS), Adyar, as a consultant.
He set up his private practice in ophthalmology and vitreoretinal surgery at the H. M. Hospital (1970–1972) and Vijaya Hospital, Chennai (1973–1978). His spiritual and professional journey actually began in 1974 when Kanchi Mutt acharya Jayendra Saraswathi met a group of young doctors and spoke to them about the need to establish hospitals in India that provide world‑class care for our citizens at affordable costs, according to the article, quoted above, authored by A.P. Irungovel, medical sociologist at Sankara Nethralaya.
These hospitals should be run with a missionary spirit, with the objective of providing quality care equally to the haves and have‑nots. Dr. Badrinath’s association with the Sankara Math started when he performed a cataract surgery on his spiritual guru Chandrasekerendra Saraswathi Swamigal.
As a consequence of guidance from his spiritual mentors, in 1978, Dr. Badrinath founded Sankara Nethralaya as a unit of the Medical Research Foundation. The institution went on to become iconic, a symbol of the progress of modern medicine, hosting both medical education and cutting edge research along with patient care. People from far and wide came to Sankara Nethralaya for its treatment facilities. His wife Vasanthi is a paediatrician and haematologist. PM Narendra Modi and many other leaders have condoled his demise.